School Times Now!
Message from Dr. Waggoner
RISD Safety and Security
2013-2014 Student Academic
Calendar Approved
RISD Students Excel,
Advance in PTA Reflections
Art Contest
Spring Creek was Awarded
Teacher of the Month
2013 Young Masters
Exhibition at the Dallas
Museum of Art
Spotlight on Special
Student Services
Portable Universe Comes to
Wallace Elementary
Jess Harben Read to Ride
winner appears in the
Christmas Parade
Annual APR Hearing –
January 14, 2013
PBK Architectural
2013 Calendar Art Contest
Berkner Ramblers Win Top
Honors in the Richardson
Christmas Parade
Hamilton Park Pacesetter
Magnet School Sixth Graders
Plant Tour
Annual Turkey Trot
Wallace Elementary
RISD Fifth Grade Concert
Contest Winners
National Thanksgiving
Expressions Competition
Carols in RISD
Collegiate Bands rehearse for
Bowl Games in RISD stadiums
Match the Promise Foundation
Scholarships Available
Through Dec. 31
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
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RISD thanks our 2012-13 scoreboard sponsors!

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Message from Dr. Waggoner

Today's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut serves as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a safe and secure learning environment for all students and employees. While details about the tragic event are still unfolding, RISD extends its sympathies to everyone affected by it.

I also want to take this opportunity to share information regarding RISD safety procedures and protocol.

RISD campuses have locking external doors that require key cards to open them. In addition, the front doors are equipped with an intercom system so office personnel can talk to visitors and then buzz them into the office if appropriate. From the office, another key card-controlled door provides access to the rest of the campus.

RISD has developed a detailed crisis management plan and each campus has its own specific plan. In addition to the monthly fire drills, campuses have drills each semester to train for lockdown, evacuation, shelter in place, and tornadoes. This training allows staff and students to act quickly in the event that an actual situation occurs. In addition, campus and district administrators are trained to manage and respond to situations through the National Incident Management System.

Safety audits are performed on all RISD campuses. During these audits, members of the District Crisis Management Team review the building and safety procedures to identify best practices and areas of concern.

RISD counselors and teachers are trained to identify students who may need individual help following tragic events. Counselors work closely with students and families to help them deal with their concerns.

Parents may want ideas to help their children deal with crises. One website that provides many useful ideas is In addition, school counselors are always willing to answer questions and help parents as their children have questions.

We take our responsibility for the safety of our students and staff very seriously. Please take time to read the article below for more information about the proactive steps RISD has taken to ensure security.


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RISD Safety and Security Reminders
Maintaining a safe environment for all students to learn, grow and succeed continues to be a top priority for RISD. The District's goal is to be proactive and to prevent an incident from occurring, rather than being reactive to a major incident involving a breach of campus security.

The single most important proactive security measure RISD campuses strive to create is a culture of mutual respect and tolerance among students. Character education programs like RTime create opportunities for mutual experiences that build relationships and foster mutual respect among students from early elementary school. At all levels, programs like peer mediation allow students to be a resource for other students in resolving conflicts before they escalate.

RISD installed the Raptor visitor and volunteer management system at all schools. The new system and accompanying policy require campus visitors to furnish a government-issued, photo ID. Raptor is designed to prevent visitors who are registered sex offenders or otherwise prohibited from being on campus from entering a school, and also allows each school to know at any given time exactly who is in their building and for what purpose.

Other significant security measures include:
  • Security cameras. RISD continues to install new security cameras to allow campus and District personnel to monitor activity at schools. Older cameras are also replaced to keep technology up to date. The 650 cameras installed last year under the 2011 Bond program provide better picture quality and have better surveillance coverage than those they replaced. In all, there are more than 2,000 cameras accessible by District security and administrative staff.
  • Double buzz-in/secure vestibules. During the regular school day, all visitors to a campus are able to enter a building only after being "buzzed-in" by campus staff who remotely unlock the outside door. (Cameras and intercoms allow campus staff to verify each visitor's reason for being at the campus.) Once inside the building, visitors enter a secure area and must follow identification and sign-in procedures.
  • Elementary, front entrance drop-off. Parents, siblings or other persons bringing their elementary student to school in the mornings are required to drop-off their child(ren) at the front entrance of the school. No one is permitted to walk with the student through the school to their classroom. This security measure allows campuses to know what visitors are inside their building at any given time and is the best way of maintaining a secure building. Campus staff escorts students to their classrooms if necessary.
  • Employee electronic keycard access. All employees enter buildings with identification badges that open electronic locks at designated entrances.
  • Exterior door sensors. Exterior doors are equipped with sensors that alert appropriate personnel if doors are opened or left ajar.
  • Portable metal detectors. District safety & security personnel periodically employ unscheduled or metal detector sweeps at school entrances.
  • Canine Sweeps. District personnel work with trained canines to conduct visible, unscheduled campus sweeps. Dogs are trained to detect drugs, firearms and other prohibited materials, and virtually every area of a school can be checked, including lockers, backpacks, bathrooms, common areas and automobiles in the parking lot.
  • Crimestoppers Program. Each secondary school has an active Crimestoppers program that financially rewards students for providing information about suspected criminal activity.
  • Report It Lines. The district maintains an anonymous tip line for students to report anything they see or hear that might make their school less safe. Tips are followed up on by administrators or resource officers.
  • School resource officers. All secondary campuses are assigned Richardson or Dallas police officers to assist in enforcing safety and security. Officers work to develop relationships with students and are often in a position to prevent safety/security issues from escalating.
RISD regularly reviews district security plans and policies to ensure that they are up to date and are in line with national best practices. In addition, campus and district administrators are trained to manage and respond to situations through the National Incident Management System.

If a safety-related incident occurs at or near a school that requires parent notification, each school has the ability to immediately contact parents with telephone/text/email messages. Parents/guardians should ensure their primary telephone contact number is up to date with their child's school. >Top
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2013-2014 Student Academic Calendar Approved

After a period for stakeholder input, the Board formally approved RISD's 2013-2014 Student Academic Calendar. The school year will begin Monday, August 26, 2013 and conclude Thursday, June 5, 2014. The starting date and length of the school year are compliant with Texas law. To view the 2013-14 RISD Student Academic Calendar, please click here. >Top

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RISD Students Excel, Advance in PTA Reflections Art Contest

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Talented students from across the district recently participated in the district PTA Reflections Art Contest, which covers the mediums of Photography, Visual Arts, Dance Choreography, Literature, Musical Composition and Film.

More than 100 students earned Awards of Excellence, and 25 advanced to the state PTA Reflections Contest.

For the complete lists, please click here. >Top
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Spring Creek was awarded Teacher of the Month

Karen Fields, sixth grade teacher at Spring Creek was awarded Teacher of the Month from Good Morning Texas last Friday. The entire school gathered in the hallway to cheer her on when the news arrived. Karen will be featured on WFAA on December 28th. >Top

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2013 Young Masters Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art

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The O'Donnell Foundation and AP Strategies are proud to announce that out of 46 Studio AP art students that were selected to participate in the 2013 Young Masters Exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art, December 22, 2012 through February 17, 2013, 5 of them came from Richardson ISD! Jurors deliberated more than 517 entries across participating school districts to determine the final art works for the show. Congratulations to each artist that submitted work and to each art teacher for their outstanding job in AP Studio Art.
  • Anna Fields Richardson High School; Art Teacher: Sonia Krusleski
  • Miranda Mitchell Richardson High School; Art Teacher: Sonia Krusleski
  • Alexis Politz Richardson High School; Art Teacher: Sonia Krusleski
  • Adam Stone Lake Highlands High School; Art Teacher: Sharin Clark
  • Cara Supan J.J. Pearce High School; Art Teacher: Rebecca Keeton
Awards will be announced at their "Reception and Awards Ceremony" on Tuesday, February 5, 5-8 pm at the DMA.

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Spotlight on Special Student Services

Special Student Services Shares in Giving
Members from Special Student Services recently organized a group to contribute to Richardson's Angel Tree. Participants from the assistive technology team, transition services, paraprofessional staff, behavior team and Section 504 Coordinator all contributed to create a special holiday for a deserving RISD student.

Learning on the Go
Continued learning and staff development have always been top priorities for Richardson teachers but for special education teachers this year, there will be a new look for accessing new information and learning content. In addition to traditional training formats, teachers in special education now have the opportunity to learn through a unique online learning system called Pearson Teacher Compass. Pearson's online site offers teachers over six-thousand training videos that can be viewed from any mobile device at any time of the day. Similar to other social media sites, teachers also have the opportunity to engage in discussions with other teachers, set training goals and track their training opportunities. This instant staff development will make training more convenient for teachers on the go. >Top

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Portable Universe Comes to Wallace Elementary

Wallace Elementary students got a chance to experience many aspects of astronomy, including the interaction of the sun, moon, and earth, through the Portable Universe this past week. Tracy Slaton, instructional specialist, applied for the opportunity offered by The Perot Museum through a special grant for Title I campuses. It was truly a shining experience for students in kindergarten through grade 6. >Top

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Jess Harben Read to Ride winner appears in the Christmas Parade

Jess Harben has been working with the Richardson Fire Department on a program that encourages the students to read. The recent winner, Ally Crisp, and her family all go to ride in the Richardson Christmas Parade as their prize. Ally read book on several different careers and wrote reports on each. Jess Harben holds the contest several times during the school year. >Top

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Annual APR Hearing - January 14, 2013

Richardson Independent School District will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss its 2011-12 Annual Performance Report.

The hearing will be held at the RISD Administration Building, located at 400 S. Greenville Avenue in Richardson.

The public is invited to attend. >Top

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PBK Architectural 2013 Calendar Art Contest

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Richardson High School Art Students Bailey Goodnight, Errol Jordheim, and Karisa Keith has each received an Award of Excellence for their outstanding creativity and artistic talent in the PBK Architectural 2013 calendar contest. Art teacher Beth Grant-Field submitted entries into the annual PBK calendar art contest for the schools the architecture firm has designed. The artwork entries are judged by PBK design professionals and the winners are showcased on each page of the calendar. >Top

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Berkner Ramblers win top honors in the Richardson Christmas Parade

The Berkner Ramblers danced their way to the prestigious Mayor's Award with their outstanding float in the Richardson Christmas parade. >Top

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Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School Sixth graders Plant Tour

The sixth graders of Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School were treated to a tour of the TriQuint Semiconductor Plant in Richardson. The Tour guide, Mr. Marvin Harris, Professional Engineer, made a presentation on the products produced by the company and how Engineering and science played a major role in the development of each. A panel of TriQuint Semiconductor Engineers fielded questions from the HPPM sixth graders, regarding their chosen career field of engineering. The students were also treated to box lunches, provided by TriQuint Semiconductor. The exposure to such an environment for these students will be invaluable in helping to shape their career paths. >Top

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Annual Turkey Trot-Wallace Elementary

Wallace Elementary held its annual Turkey Trot last month. Students collected 4,149 pounds of canned goods to donate to the Network of Community Ministries. The members of Beta Club help publicize the event and organize the cans collected for the event. >Top

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RISD Fifth Grade Concert Contest Winners
Winners from the Pearce & Richardson concert

Each year all fifth graders in the Richardson ISD attend a concert, sponsored by the Richardson ISD Council of PTAs. The All District Elementary Choir performs at the concert as well as a combined orchestra from the high schools. One concert is held for the Berkner and Lake Highlands High School clusters. One concert is held for the Pearce and Richardson High School clusters.

In conjunction with the concert, an art contest is held. One piece of artwork from each elementary is submitted to the Fine Arts office. One winner is selected for each concert and their artwork is featured on the cover of the program for the concert.

Also in conjunction with the concert, an instrument recognition contest is held. Each school sends one winner to the concert to compete in an instrument recognition contest at the concert. One winner is chosen from that group.

This year the Cover Design winners were Kyle Casimir from Springridge Elementary (music teacher Barry Russell) and Larua Long from Prairie Creek Elementary (music teacher Barbie Castellano). The overall Instrument Recognition winners were Ella Martin from Merriman Park Elementary (music teacher Becca Bryan) and Jack Minigutti from Bowie Elementary (music teacher Linda Armstrong).

Liz Gluckman of the Richardson ISD Council of PTAs presented each Cover Design winner with a framed copy of the program that featured their artwork. The Instrument Recognition winners were given two tickets to the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.


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National Thanksgiving Expressions Competition 2012
In the 11th-12th Division: Honorable Mention – Guadalupe Mora, RHS-Art Teacher: Beth Field

Congratulations to Kennedy White and Guadalupe Mora from Richardson High School who participated in the 8th Annual 2012 Expression Art and Essay Competition. The Thanks-Giving Foundation presents an annual opportunity to students to reflect and express their ideas on Thanksgiving and gratitude through art. This year's theme is "I am grateful for water." Their winning entries will be on display in the Thanksgiving Hall. >Top

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Carols in RISD
Lake Highlands Freshman Center CenterStage Choir
Forest Meadow Junior High Sound Express

Personnel in the RISD Administration and Annex Buildings were treated to carols from the Lake Highlands Freshman Center CenterStage Choir, under the direction of Heather Sharp; the Forest Meadow Junior High Sound Express, under the direction of Kari Gilberton and Carisa Niemeyer, and the Math/Science/Technology Magnet Choir, under the direction of Jerry Bradley and Claudia Graf. >Top

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collegiate Bands rehearse for Bowl Games in RISD stadiums

In preparation for the 2012 Dallas bowl games, some of the collegiate marching bands will be rehearsing the Richardson ISD’s football stadiums. Click here to view the rehearsal schedule. >Top

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Match the Promise Foundation Scholarships Available Through Dec. 31

Sixth through ninth graders whose families have an income of $75,000 or less can apply now for competitive matching scholarships and tuition grants offered by the Match the Promise Foundation.

The Match the Promise Foundation encourages families to save for college by supplementing their contributions to the Texas Tuition Promise Fund, the state's prepaid college tuition plan. The Foundation will award scholarships of up to $2,000 worth of Promise Fund tuition units to top scoring applicants. Points will be assigned to student career essays, grade averages and family income levels to determine awards.

Eligible applicants have between now and Dec. 31, 2012, to apply for Match the Promise scholarships.* Families can also enroll in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund during this time if they haven't already done so.

Visit the Match the Promise website for other eligibility requirements and selection criteria, and apply now. You may also contact us at 1-800-531-5441, ext. 3-7570. It's never too soon to dream big. >Top

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